One Order of Ministry

In the Scripture, there is an ordination for elders and an ordination for deacons. When a minister is ordained, he is ordained as an elder. In the early morning church, while there were different gifts and offices and there were local ministers and general ministers laboring in the larger field, there was one order of ministers. The word elder is an umbrella term for bishop, presbyter, overseer, etc., and is sometimes used interchangeably in the scripture. Titus 1:5 uses the word elder (presbuteros=presbyters) and then proceeds to give the qualifications using the word bishop (episkopos=overseer) in verse seven. It is one and the same office and was only polluted by the apostasy that would come at a later date. On this subject, commentator Adam Clarke stated: “It appears that those who are called elders in this place are the same as those termed bishops in Titus 1:7. We have many proofs that bishops and elders were of the same order in the apostolic church, though afterward they became distinct.”Read more

Challenge

[Bro. Ostis Wilson, in referencing Acts 13:1-4 when Barnabas and Saul were separated for the work.]

“This was a sacred, solemn charge to them and they fasted and prayed before they did it, even after the Holy Ghost had spoken to them. They wanted to be certain they were not mistaken. Ah, brethren, could we be a little admonished at this point and consider our ordination services as a more serious and solemn responsibility than we sometimes do. I feel deeply that I myself can.”

Biblical Qualifications for a Bishop

1 Timothy 3:1-7

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality,  apt to teach;
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

The Candidate Conditions for Ordination

Qualifications. A minister who is a candidate for ordination should clearly have the anointing and call of God on his ministry and meet the scriptural qualifications for a bishop as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. These scriptural qualifications should be incumbent upon all who minister; however, they should be without question in a minister’s life before ordination takes place. The minister should be representative of the body of Christ and an example of holiness, sound in doctrine, and Christlike in spirit. The anointing of the Lord should be evident to the general body, not to just a few. Candidates for ordination should be effective in their labors and an asset rather than a liability to the ministry. Their integrity in business, temporal and spiritual, should be without reproach and they should have the confidence of the people. While it is a high calling, ordination should never be confused with requiring human perfection, for everyone makes mistakes, has weaknesses, and personality attributes on which God is still working.Read more

Protocol and Practicalities of the Ordination Process

The scripture does not lay out a blueprint for the ordination process. It gives the qualifications and leaves some things in the hands of Holy Spirit led men of God. The protocols shared below are not biblical rules incumbent upon every minister; rather, they are things to consider in the ordination process for edification. As the apostle Paul, I write these things by permission, not by commandment.Read more